Microsoft withdraws copyright complaint against document-spiller Cryptome

Microsoft withdraws copyright complaint against document-spiller CryptomeA day after filing a copyright complaint against the document-watchdog site Cryptome – which resulted in the shuttering of the site by its hosting provider Network Solutions -, Microsoft Thursday reversed its stance in the case and withdrew the complaint.

The Microsoft complaint, citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, pertained to the publishing of the company’s document “Microsoft Global Criminal Compliance Handbook,” also called the Microsoft Surveillance Guide, by Cryptome - the secret-document-spilling site that publishes sensitive corporate and government documents.

Though the 22-page Microsoft document, which the Cryptome owner John Young published earlier this week, contains no trade secrets per se; and essentially lays down the guidelines for the company to provide user data for investigations by law enforcement agencies.

In addition to advising how to file subpoenas, the document outlines what data that Microsoft specifically retains about the users of its online services like Hotmail and Xbox Live, and offers an explanation about the parsing of the resultant user data.

Quick to realize that such information should be ‘transparent’ and need not be hidden from the users, Microsoft said in a Thursday statement: “We take our responsibility to protect our customers’ privacy very seriously, so have specific guidelines that we use when responding to law enforcement requests.”

Microsoft also said that it had not sought the shuttering of Cryptome; and only wanted to see the removal of the copyrighted content.

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